Water boil advisory issued by Great Lakes Water Authority for 935,000 people after water main break

About 935,000 people in southeast Michigan were told to boil their drinking water on Saturday after a rupture was reported in a critical pipe.

The 23 communities included Flint, Pontiac, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, Utica and Troy, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) said.

Crews have identified the location of the leak, which is about a mile west of the authority’s Lake Huron water treatment facility.

In response to the water main break, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) on Saturday afternoon.

The SEOC has so far “received requests for bottled water and is working to accommodate them,” the governor’s office said.

The 120-inch pipe in St. Clair County, called the water main, carries treated water from Lake Huron and is the largest in the system, the agency said.

“Once the leak is isolated, crews will begin opening emergency connections to other lines in the system to restore some flow to affected communities,” the agency said.

“A loss of pressure can lead to bacterial contamination in the water system. … Boiling water before using it will kill bacteria and other organisms that may be in the water,” GLWA said.

Residents of affected counties are advised not to drink the water without boiling it first. The authority advises residents to bring all water to a boil for at least one minute and then let it cool before using it.

“Boiled, bottled or disinfected water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice,” the agency said.

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